The dark, golden brown wrinkly dried fruits are indispensible to desserts, health tonics, snacks, and high-energy food supplements. The cultural cooking all around the world uses raisins for their sweet and gummy texture. Obtained from drying grapes, raisins can be considered to “gems” because of their nutritional value and health benefits. They are a healthy alternative to your unhealthy snacks! Following are the health benefits of raisins.
Raisins act as laxatives because they swell as they absorb water after being ingested. They thus relieve constipation and help the digestive system to run smoothly. One must regularly consume raisins to maintain regular bowel movement. The fibres in raisins sweep away the toxins and waste materials from the gastrointestinal tract.
You might think that because raisins are sweet, they can cause cavities and tooth decay just like candies do. But, raisins, unlike candies, contain oleanolic acid, which protects against these oral problems. They also prevent the growth of harmful gingivitis-causing bacteria and other periodontal diseases.
Being a rich source of calcium, raisins strengthen bones and teeth. They are also abundant in boron- a micronutrient that helps in absorbing calcium and aids bone formation. For this reason, raisins are particularly beneficial for postmenopausal women to help prevent osteoporosis.
If a person suffers from acidosis (a state of increased acidity of the blood), they should snack on raisins, for they contain potassium and magnesium- two important antacids. These two minerals are both very effective in neutralizing the acids and thus helping to check acidosis and other related conditions.
Raisins contain a considerable amount of iron which directly helps in the treatment of anaemia. It also contains many members of the vitamin-B complex that are essential for the formation of new blood. The high copper content in raisins also helps the formation of red blood cells.
Free radicals or oxidants can cause macular degeneration, age-related vision weakening, and cataracts. Raisins contain phytonutrients which have antioxidant properties. These phytonutrients protect the eyes from the abovementioned damages. Additionally, the high amounts of vitamin A, A-Beta Carotene and A-Carotenoid present in raisins are essential for good ocular health.
Raisins are good for your brain because they are an excellent source of boron, a trace element that improves hand-eye coordination, attention and memory. Other good sources of boron include hazelnuts, almonds and dried apricots.
Did you know that raisins are completely cholesterol-free? A cup of raisins is said to contain about 4g of soluble fibre. It is this soluble fibre that fights the bad cholesterol and disposes of it in the liver to be eliminated. Also, the polyphenols in raisins suppress the enzymes responsible for absorbing cholesterol into the body.
Free radicals are one of the primaries, underlying factors that lead to the spontaneous growth of cancer cells, as well as the substance that can spur on metastasis. Raisins have high levels of catechins, which are polyphenolic antioxidants in the blood. Antioxidants scavenge the free radicals that float around the body and wreak havoc on the organ systems and cells.
If you are desperately trying to gain weight, then these raisins are for your best friend. Raisins are rich in fructose as well as glucose and give you loads of energy as well as help you gain weight. It will help you gain weight without accumulating bad cholesterol.
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